Who doesn’t love popcorn? It’s a fantastic little snack, perfect for a movie night, and it has the added bonus of being low in calories. So you’ve excitedly bought your popcorn and are ready to cook it – then you notice it’s microwave popcorn, and you don’t have one! How to cook microwave popcorn without a microwave? I’m glad you asked.
How To Cook Microwave Popcorn Without A Microwave?
You don’t need a microwave to cook popcorn, even if it is the designated microwave type!
Popcorn comes from dried sweetcorn kernels, and it is the cooking method that produces that well know, fluffy substance that we all know and love.
The targeted heat makes the leftover moisture in the kernel expand, and it explodes into a pile of starchy deliciousness when it is evenly heated.
Microwave popcorn, you may be surprised to learn, is actually just the same as any other type of popcorn – the only difference is that it comes in a bag!
The kernels are inside the bag, with the oil already applied, and this just needs to be popped into the microwave.
However, if you don’t have a microwave you can still cook your popcorn quickly and easily – you just need to remove the kernels from the bag.
Cooking popcorn on a hob delivers amazing results just about every time – even if you don’t think you can cook it on the hob if it is meant to be in a microwave.
- Take a large pot with a tight fitting lid, and add a splash of oil to the bottom of the pan.
- Place the pan over a medium to high heat and allow it to warm up.
- Remove the outer packing from your microwave popcorn, and cut open the bag.
- Tip the contents of the bag into the pan on the hob, and place the lid on firmly.
- Lift and shake the pan every 10-15 seconds to stop the contents from sticking.
- Continue until the majority of the kernels are popped, or until you can’t hear much more popping.
- Remove the pan from the heat and tip the popcorn into a bowl.
- Add salt or sugar, depending on your tastes.
Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn Any Other Way?
Although microwave popcorn is designed to be cooked in a microwave, you can actually cook it in a few other different ways:
- On the stove. This is the most simple method, that should deliver the same results as cooking it in the microwave.
- In a popcorn machine. Check that your particular machine can use kernels that are already coated with oil; air poppers should be avoided.
- In an oven or toaster. This will not give the best results, but it is possible to cook popcorn in an oven (see below) or toaster – it will just take longer.
As you can see, although microwave popcorn works best in a microwave, it is perfectly possible to cook it without one.
If you have accidentally picked up microwave popcorn and you don’t have a microwave, don’t despair!
The most important thing to remember is that for any other method than a microwave, you MUST remove the kernels from their bag.
Cooking microwave popcorn using another method with the kernels still in their microwave bag will cause you big problems.
Can Microwave Popcorn Be Cooked In A Pan?
As you can hopefully see, microwave popcorn doesn’t necessarily need a microwave in order to deliver you some truly delightful snacks.
All you need to do is be aware of adding enough oil or butter to the pan, and shaking the pan regularly to keep the kernels moving around and the heat being distributed.
As long as you use a heavy pan, and add a good splash of oil or butter, and keep shaking the pan to spread the heat around, you can create delicious popcorn.
Adding the flavourings afterwards is entirely down to personal choice – some people swear by salty popcorn; others won’t touch it unless it is sweet.
This is actually a great excuse to make more than one batch – if some in your household like it sweet and some like it salty, you can just make twice the amount of popcorn!
Here is a video showing you the best way to cook microwave popcorn on the stove:
Can You Pop Popcorn In The Oven?
Sadly, although the oven (or mini oven) is a very useful tool, it is not the best for popping popcorn. The oven can substitute for the microwave in many ways, but not when it comes to popcorn!
The oven doesn’t give enough of an instant, directly targeted heat in order to pop your kernels effectively.
You can try it, if you have a really hot oven – make a tent out of tin foil and add your microwave popcorn to it.
Make sure that you leave enough space for the kernels to pop up, and add a little more oil or butter to get the process going.
You can’t really shake the pouch once it is in the oven if you don’t want to burn your fingers, so you’ll have to just preheat the oven and hope for the best!
You may get a few kernels popping, but the results are likely to be disappointing – best to stick to the hob method of cooking.
Oven cooking microwave popcorn is likely to result in the kernels simply drying out, or worse, burning and leaving you with disappointment and a bad smell in your kitchen!
You cannot shake the pan while cooking popcorn in the oven, which means that even if one or two kernels pop, the heat won’t be evenly distributed enough to pop the rest.
Now that you know how, cooking microwave popcorn without a microwave is actually really easy.
Your movie night is not ruined, you can still cook microwave popcorn without a microwave! And, even if the film is rubbish, at least your snacks will be Oscar worthy.